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Please tell me about KGS

(55 Posts)
jkhj Mon 18-Feb-19 09:17:35

Dear all, I would really appreciate some insight into KGS.

My dd has an offer at KGS and although we all are very keen there are some reservations.

Dd is from a state school, enjoys gymnastics and swimming, not competitively though. She loves music and plays the Volin and piano well, although we have not worked through many grades yet. She is also used to being in the top end of her class academically and I'm a little concerned it may lower her confidence, especially as many of the children will have prep school backgrounds.

How do KGS set children for maths and other subjects, class size, amount of homework especially y7 and any general feedback would be appreciated.

She also has an academic scholarship at Radnor house, place at st Catherine's and waiting list Leh (all of which are closer to us).

Thank you

Bool Mon 18-Feb-19 10:13:34

Hello. I have a DS at KGS. We cannot be happier with the school. Firstly because it is a co-ed school there are fewer boys and girls in each year than a single sex school. This means that there are fewer people they are competing with to get into sports teams and drama productions than some other independents. Sports wise it is tremendous. They play hockey, netball, football, cricket and general PE. They also do swim for one half term each year. Music and drama I know less well but do know from other parents that it is very strong and well catered for.

Please do not worry at all about the academic side. If she has got a place and even an academic scholarship at another school then she will thrive. She won’t be at the bottom of the class! What I love is the enthusiasm and support all the kids give each other about the work. I haven’t noticed any kind of hothouse academic atmosphere at all. My DS is bright enough but by no means academic scholarship material at another school and is just thriving. Don’t fret about state vs prep. Highly overrated IMO. All the kids are lovely and get on well and support each other. They certainly haven’t created any boundaries and cliques. I have been struck by this - just how nice they all are to each other.

They are only set for maths in Yr7 and that happens in the first term. There are 5 sets. That can change year on year and they all follow the same syllabus and tests. In the end they are all going to score well in maths and so is nice they let them fall into these 5 sets.

Amount of homework is not overwhelming and they give them ample time to do it and give them a few weeks to settle in without it. One thing I noticed was that they encourage much more independent thinking and investigation which is a leap but brilliant training for how they should work moving forwards.

Overall you have nothing to worry about and if you feel this is a good fit for your DD as a school then go for it! I have noticed a really positive effect confidence wise on my DS - who used to struggle a bit with this.

CountessDracula Mon 18-Feb-19 11:01:20

I have a dd there, it's a fabulous school. Pastorally they are amazing, it's laid back while still managing to get great results. They genuinely do seem to manage to strike that balance. I know my dd would have hated a very draconian regime.

The Drama is fantastic, sport very inclusive and everyone does it regardless of whether they are super sporty or hide in the cloakroom types, and they do all seem to enjoy the camaraderie it engenders.

Really cannot recommend it highly enough!

CountessDracula Mon 18-Feb-19 11:02:08

oh and yes she came from state primary, as did most of her friends. Actually I couldn't tell you who came from state and who didn't, it just isn't an issue

CountessDracula Mon 18-Feb-19 11:02:33

(out of the ones who I don't know about that is!)

Thesunalwaysshines Mon 18-Feb-19 11:20:24

Echo everything the others have said about sport, drama, oops etc

I have a DC there who loves it and came from a state primary. Your DD will certainly be amongst clever children, but so will she be at the other schools. It's a general transition to secondary. Even if she's not in the top set, all the kids will do well. I honestly see no difference between prep and state school kids in terms of the setting.

There is a good balance between state and private kids, but as others have said, it really isn't an issue. KGS is known as being one of the most down to earth indies in SW London, often with both parents working to pay the fees, and I haven't seen anything so far to go against that

amidaiwas Mon 18-Feb-19 18:27:39

How do KGS set children for maths and other subjects, class size, amount of homework

They are set for Maths in January of yr7. 2 A sets, 3 B sets and a C set iirc. So half the year are effectively middle set.
Not set for other subjects until yr10. except Latin. Those that continue it in yr9 (you can drop it end yr8) are split into a top set that do Greek & Latin and the others who do Latin.

Class size varies widely by subject and seems to get smaller as they go up the school. About 25 in most classes in yr7.

Homework - yr7, about an hour a night though depends how conscientious your dd is.

Lots and lots from state schools - ask the school for % if you are concerned but personally i wouldn't let that worry you - your dd got in from a state school, she will be fine.

amidaiwas Mon 18-Feb-19 18:28:50

Class size varies widely by subject and seems to get smaller as they go up the school. About 25 in most classes in yr7. actually they are in half classes for the practical subjects and languages are a fair bit smaller too as based on choices.

Longtimelurkerhere Mon 18-Feb-19 18:43:24

It is possibly the most claustrophobic inde in London and SE. It is located on a motorway, sandwiched between terraced houses, and across from a rather large state school.

What made you choose it?

SmallFluffyChicken Mon 18-Feb-19 18:49:23

KGS isn't located on a motorway! More of a busy one-way system.
It is sandwiched between tall terraced houses (I'll give you that one!).
Tiffin is over the road.
It is very near the station and bus garage - great transport links.
Close to the shops - always handy when they get older
It is a marvellous school. DC absolutely thrive there.

Bool Mon 18-Feb-19 18:55:40

Located on a motorway

Lol. Are we talking about the same school! The nearest motorway is about 15 miles away. And what on earth is the problem with a ‘state school’ (Tiffin school - one the the hardest selective schools in the country to get into) being over the road. Jeez....

Bool Mon 18-Feb-19 18:58:33

Oh and people like @Longtimelurker are not parents at KGS grin. See other thread....

Longtimelurkerhere Mon 18-Feb-19 19:08:05

It’s really a very noisy and congested part of the world. The school is tiny and have you seen their playground?

Why not try for Harrodian? That’s not far from you.

Thesunalwaysshines Mon 18-Feb-19 20:57:15

KGS is an urban school, like many others. The site is small, but the benefit is that it remains a small school community and they can't go over numbers. You get an excellent education and pastoral care, with beautiful sports fields a school bus away over Kingston bridge. Also, as others have said, transport links are excellent - they don't need to provide school coaches to and from school.

I dob't know Harrodian well, but it's a very different kettle of fish and no where near KGS!

jkhj Mon 18-Feb-19 22:49:13

Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to tell me of your experiences and all the valuable information.

Your posts truly helped to give the reassurance and confidence needed to post our acceptance forms, posted late afternoon. Dd is so pleased it's in the post as she has a clear direction and she loved KGS the most.

Thank you lovely ones!

Thesunalwaysshines Tue 19-Feb-19 08:34:38

Congrats jkhj! Welcome you and your DD to the KGS community. Great it was the school your DD preferred and that you are reassured. Your DD will love it!

Thesunalwaysshines Tue 19-Feb-19 08:34:55

Congrats jkhj! Welcome you and your DD to the KGS community. Great it was the school your DD preferred and that you are reassured. Your DD will love it!

Bool Tue 19-Feb-19 17:22:28

Congrats @jkhj ! Fab news

TheExtraGuineaPig Tue 19-Feb-19 17:42:19

Looks like there will be a few of us from here! I'm just filling out the form for DD smile

Thesunalwaysshines Tue 19-Feb-19 18:29:15

smile

IrrationalAnthem Tue 19-Feb-19 19:43:46

Can’t recommend it highly enough and I love the urban location. The students travel independently to and from school and can meet up in Kingston at weekends etc.

The Head is amazing!

I hope you love it as much as we have.

AMR2357 Sun 22-Sep-19 15:18:28

I am not feeling it re KGS. I have two there. I am just curious if there are any other parents unsatisfied. The iphone/device policy is an utter disaster. Promotes overuse under the guise of using it responsibly, it is by far the most liberal policy of any school I have checked into, having spoken to a lot of other parents. Teachers use the devices in class etc., they're encouraged to use it in fact. For an 11 year old! The teachers seem pretty universally medium to at best solid, but no one particularly stellar. They are absolutely lockstep on academics and do nothing more than teach to the test/GCSE, have seen no creativity whatsoever in engaging the kids. Finally, whoever said they have a variety of sports must have only sons, because with daughters the choices are highly limited. If you're a girl and you like hockey or rowing or netball, great. Otherwise, its an uphill struggle to figure out how you'll be supported in your chosen sport. In short I am struggling to see where the sell is given the urban location as someone above noted. Sorry for venting. : )

allyoudoiscriticise Sun 22-Sep-19 19:28:43

I have one of each and I'm very happy with the school.

My daughter loves the fact she does the same sport as her brother - there is no gender bias unlike other schools. Hockey, cricket, tennis, football, rowing is all strong. They don't have rugby or gymnastics etc as some of the single sex schools have, but I like this.

I've also found the teachers to be good- some very inspiring, some just good, much the same as any school.

I do agree about the phone policy but just this week they have bought out new (or maybe it was a reminder) guidelines about phone use eg cannot be used in corridor, dining hall and only in class when directed by the teacher. The pupils are also being encouraged by staff not to use them at lunchtime, and to take up clubs instead. My children have joined clubs at lunchtime, so it hasn't been a problem so far.

The guidance the children get at kgs about this and a variety of things is very great and I really appreciate the pastoral side, and it's clear it's not just about the academics. The communication from the school is also good I find.

Overall, I'm very happy and would recommend

TwoRedShoes Mon 23-Sep-19 10:58:17

@AMR2357 you aren't the only one feeling like that.

Not got any children at KGS but heard from a Mum on Friday who has a DS there, that she feels it's lost all its extra curricular interesting bits and pieces and has become a locked-down exam factory. Not enough 'fun' and too much focus on results. Her DD just started somewhere else at secondary and she's loving the balance at that school that gets almost the same results at KGS without the dogmatic approach.

Slightly worried as DS in Year 5 and need to choose 'balanced' school for him, but does such a place exist?

TheExtraGuineaPig Mon 23-Sep-19 11:47:46

My DD is at KGS and absolutely loves it. The phone policy is liberal (or modern depending on your point of view) and the theory is it will teach them to operate in a real world which involves tech. She says they are cracking down on the kids who want to play games but most only use their phones to text to tell their friend where they are at lunch etc.

She hasn't been there long enough for me to have met any subject teachers but the work she has done seems engaging and at a good level although not very challenging so far - a gentle start I think!

She's not a sports mad kid so it's hard for us to judge there except there seems like a massive amount of it- I'm not sure what's missing that you wouldn't have known about (ie rugby) before applying.

Overall she loves the school so far and I've been really impressed with the communications and the overall culture of the place from the teachers, other parents and older kids. I don't have anything to compare it with but so far feel I would highly recommend it and it seems a great place for DD. Definitely hoping to get her sibling in!

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